12/15 - I pack the car, take my last final exam, and head to Jacksonville. I get there at 11pm.
12/16 - My cousin's wedding day. The four of us pile into the car around 8am, and arrive in Birmingham at 3:30. For reasons unknown, I have been feeling steadily sicker since 10am, and, after getting all dolled up and ready to leave for the (evening) wedding, nearly pass out in the hotel room. Some food and water gets me back to the low side of 'okay', and we head out to the wedding (which was very nice, very 'efficient', a 20-minute church ceremony followed by a food-, drink-, and dancing-filled reception at a historic house). My cousin is married. Ack!
12/17 - We pile back into the car and arrive back in Jacksonville around 7pm. I have now spent 24 of the past 72 hours in a car.
12/18 - Mom and I go shopping. I am now the proud owner of a black Fossil belt, as well as six, count 'em, six new bras - red, pink, purple, brown, beige, and black. Can you tell we hit a sale?
12/19 - I run in the morning, followed by my first swim practice in about eight weeks. My muscles burn at times in the water, but I'm not as slow as I thought I'd be.
12/20 - I go to Gainesville with Dad for the Gator basketball game versus Stetson, score a free dinner, and manage to sneak down into the Rowdy Reptiles section - 'mah peeps'! - which is definitely the place to be.
12/21 - Again, a morning run followed in the evening by my second swim practice in eight weeks. A vast improvement over Tuesday. I feel awesome.
12/22 - I meet up with Elise, one of my best friends from high school, and we work out together in the tiny gym at her church. It's a little awkward, since we haven't seen each other in so long, and we can't talk freely because her little sister has come along. Oh, well.
12/23 - I go to Gainesville again, and this time scam a free (swanky) lunch off the CBS crew, who have come to cover the game, since it's against Ohio State. Anna, one of my best friends from UF, meets up with me and scams her own food; then we hang out and check out basically every vantage point in the entire arena before we climb up to the ceiling and sit on the cement stairs (to avoid getting in the way of the paying members of the sold-out crowd) and proceed to talk for the next hour and a half. It's a good time.
12/24 - Jags vs. Patriots. Elise and Faith (another high school friend) go with me - we get great end zone seats, huge boxes of chili fries, and very little rain. Unfortunately, the Jags lose. Sigh.
12/25 - Merry Christmas! I come away with a red 8 GB iPod nano, a couple of books and DVDs, a new fleece jacket, a pair of gorgeous dangly silver earrings, and various other odds and ends, including a packet of chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. Yum!
12/26 - Swim practice #3 ... feels really good. It's coming back.
12/27 - I go for what's supposed to be a 3-mile run, and end up feeling so great that I do almost 7 miles (and could have done more). The only problem? I rub all the skin off the inside of my thigh with my cheapo running shorts. Time to invest in some new ones.
12/28 - Mom and I shop together (and I get new running shorts). New, pretty underwear is also in the mix. Swim practice at 6:30.
12/29 - My roomie Liz arrives, hooray! We give her her Christmas presents (a calendar, a journal, and an external hard drive) and I take her on a Jville tour.
12/30 - Liz and I visit my grandparents. I become convinced that not only my parents, but my grandfather would also like to trade me in and adopt Liz. He gives her the grand tour of his orchards, regales her with stories, and sends her home with 25 pounds of satsumas. (I wish I were kidding.) We hit the beach for a little while, then have dinner with Mom and Catie at Olive Garden.
12/31 - New Year's Eve means party time! We head out to the beaches to hang out with some old high school friends. I try to break a $50 bill at a liquor store, only to be told it's counterfeit. (The bank would later dispute this claim. We're trusting the bank.) Alcohol, fireworks, the infamous Dick Clark (that man is never going to die. At the end of the world, all that will be left are cockroaches and Dick Clark. And possibly Cher.) ... What more could a girl want? (Well, maybe a phone call from Elise telling me she's standing in Times Square 'reeeeally far away from the ball!')
1/1 - Happy New Year. Seeing as nothing else is open, I take Liz to ride the skyway and walk on the Riverwalk. We grab dinner at Panera; then Catie, Liz, and I curl up on the Aerobed and watch Renaissance Man.
1/2 - Mom, Catie, Liz, and I go to the borrowed-from-the-British-Museum exhibit of Egyptian artifacts exhibit at the Cummer - which is wicked cool - then eat an early dinner at Trent's (an incredible, hole-in-the-wall seafood restaurant). Liz watches my swim practice, then Dad gives her (and me, again, by default) a tour of the stadium, during which we steal frozen yogurt (and get busted). Then we visit my other grandmother, and end up hanging out and reviewing family photos until almost 11pm.
1/3 - Liz left this morning, and I went back to bed for a while, then did laundry, went for a run (last one before the race!), did some errands, and packed up all my stuff for the long haul back home.
Tomorrow: new license plate, eye doctor appointment, trip to Orlando, dinner with Kelsey, and sleeping at my aunt's with Monique (whom I haven't seen since graduation and am really eager to catch up with).
Friday: Monique and I are going to MGM - rock on!
Saturday: The day I've been counting down to since summer... the half marathon! Trust me, a post will follow.